Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class In 10 Pictures

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific, Travel

Hello from Ho Chi Minh City! After flying American from Los Angeles to Hong Kong, I connected to Ho Chi Minh City on Cathay Pacific. I was especially excited about this short flight since it would be operated by one of Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A350s, featuring their new business class seat. This is very similar to their old reverse herringbone seat, though there were some minor tweaks to the seat, and I was curious whether there were any noticeable differences.

Cathay Pacific’s A350 business class cabin consists of 38 seats, with 30 seats in the forward cabin, and then a rear cabin with just eight seats.

I chose the seat in the last row, as I usually like to do.

The differences between this seat and the previous one were surprisingly obvious. In addition to an all around more updated look, the seat had an ottoman that went around the side of the fuselage, which I found to be quite comfortable.

The part of the ottoman closest to the seat even had a storage compartment large enough to hold a laptop, etc. This is a very nice feature that the previous version of this seat didn’t have.

The entertainment screen could slide in and out, though unlike the previous version of the seat (if I recall correctly), this one didn’t have to be stowed for takeoff. By the way, there’s another one of my favorite aspects of the A350 — the tail camera. Who needs IFE when you can have this view your entire flight?

The A350 also has some sexy wings.

Beyond that, I found the IFE system to be much improved over the old one. It was more responsive, and I believe it also had a better selection (though Cathay Pacific has long offered a good IFE selection).

Another nice feature of the A350 is that it features wifi, unlike their 777s. Wifi is offered by Panasonic and is pretty quick, and you can buy a pass that lasts the entire flight with no data caps — for this flight it cost ~$12.

The flight left at 8:25AM, so breakfast was served. Service felt like an assembly line, though the crew was generally friendly and well intentioned. Service began with drinks.

That was followed by yogurt, fresh fruit, and breakfast breads.

Then there was the choice between scrambled eggs and dim sum.

By the time the trays were cleared we were already descending towards Ho Chi Minh City.

Bottom line

While Cathay Pacific’s new A350 business class isn’t revolutionary, it’s a very nice update over their previous business class. I’d say it’s the best reverse herringbone seat out there. Between the slightly improved seat, the wifi, and the general features of the A350 (the quiet cabin, the tail camera, etc.), this is a fantastic way to fly. I can’t wait to try Cathay Pacific’s A350 on a longer flight at some point. As far as US destinations go, Cathay Pacific flies this plane to San Francisco and Newark.

If you’ve flown Cathay Pacific’s A350 business class, what did you think of it?

  1. I flew Cathay’s A350 in J from TPE-HKG-AKL and HKG-CDG this year, and love it. I agree that it is the best reverse herringbone out there. And with a window in the bathroom I’m sold. There were issues with quality on some of the J seats (not mine specifically), which was discussed extensively on Flyertalk, but I believe most of these issues have been corrected.

  2. Also wanted to add–looking at SQ’s new business you reported on yesterday, and I fail to see how it would be more comfortable sleeping than this seat. Dissapointing that they put so much money and time into the new seat (carbon fiber?!) and still keep the goofy weird footwell and angle sleep design.

  3. CX has great Hong Kong lounges and a horrible/awefull Business Class soft product. SQ Business Class food and service is light years ahead of CX.

  4. Lucky I thought you loved your VA flight and said it was one of the best reverse herringbone seats, what sets Cathay apart from VA?

  5. I also found Cathay’s A350 new Cirrus seats to be great but agree with @Morgan the Virgin seats (as well as all carriers with the B/E Super Diamond, even AA) are better seats.

    Lucky, I’m wondering if your flight had cabin mood lighting? My short haul didn’t. I can’t imagine CX didn’t get this option on their A350s.

    CX A350

    VA A330

  6. I have a couple flights booked with CX for next month on the A359 in J – and I am kind of curious, do they have gasper vents at each seat? I flew with SQ and they didn’t – it was a bit warm the entire 10 hours from JNB to SIN.

  7. Definitely not the best reverse herringbone seat. Finishing is cheap and plasticky. Quality issues have not been fixed – on both my recent A350 flights I had problems with my seat – unresponsive seat controls and the panel coverings coming off around the seat.

    I don’t understand how anyone can think this is better than the QR 350 seat.

    And one of the things they were meant to do was allow the screen to tilt. I read this multiple times as something CX was planning to do but in the end the screen doesn’t tilt so the TV angle in bed mode is inconvenient.

    Finally, you no longer need to stow the IFE even on the 777s and 330s.

  8. Congrats on the A350 ride. It was about time!

    Fortunately, you were able to get on a CX A350 for a regional hop as they’re hard to come by with last minute swaps.

  9. You said you’d prefer American’s 777 over Cathay’s 777 for transpacific. Would the cathay A350 change that preference?

  10. I flew HKG-AKL in the mini cabin. Seat 20A in the bulkhead.
    I slept pretty much the entire time lol.
    I love this seat. It is private and spacious. And it also have wifi. 🙂

  11. Seats were ok but unfortunately , Crews were too busy pushing all the courses of food to be finished as soon as possible. So that they could start their duty free shopping while they have a commission on the sales revenue. They were friendly but not overly enthusiastic. Overall every meal is so rushed that every meal is over within an hour.

  12. I’ve had 2 flights on it, both of which I talked to the CX cabin crew who said they *hated* working on the A350. They said that pax loved it, but the crews thought it was badly made and plasticy, and things kept breaking or falling apart in the gallies on numerous occasions. Both crew on separate flights said the exact same thing, which was really surprising to hear.

  13. We loved it! Flew BNE to HKG. Night flight so plenty of sleep! Really surprised by how quiet it was. We had the last row middle seats in the rear 8 seat cabin. Service was fantastic. We were on a RTW trip and this was the best of all of the flights.

  14. I spent 3 1/2 hours in the new J aboard the CX A350 between BKK and SIN. The service was attentive and I enjoyed the seat. It’s too bad we never left the gate. We went tech just prior to push and spent longer than the original flight time trying to get it fixed. Oh well, these things happen. The FAs kept the wine flowing and we eventually (7hrs later) were put on an aged 777 to SIN. I was looking forward to the experience, maybe next time.

  15. Flew it a week ago from Hong Kong to Melbourne, seat 16A. Comfortable for the reasons described. Ran into a lot of turbulence, which was distracting. Scheduled to fly back to HKG in three plus weeks. Also booked round trip between YVR and HKG early next year.

    Look forward to the experience.

  16. Impossible to get using AA miles. I booked a flight from Bangkok to Los Angeles through hong Kong nearly 8 months ago with plenty of flexibility in dates and have called AA close to 50 times over the months to see if upgrade is available. They keep saying to keep trying and it feels like you are calling a radio station to see if you are the winner every day for months. Easy booking business class on the way over with Alaska miles. I may have to consider giving up with American.

  17. Just took the A350 MEL-HKG in J 2 days ago.
    Completely underwhelmed. More by soft experience. Food & Service subpar. Entertainment choices woefully bad. Bathrooms (back of cabin) tiny and sadly not kept fresh throughout flight. WiFi didn’t work and staff wouldn’t/couldn’t offer any help or explanation but this happens ocaasionaly on all airlines in fairness.
    Seat is nice and relatively spacious but not best in class.

    Aircraft. Willing it to blow my socks (being European) but found it surprisingly noisy.

    Will say their PE and Y looked fantastic. Really really appreciate airlines who are doing 40-41” it makes the world of diff.
    PE along with Y (seat width) in this aircraft are definitely among best in their class I would say.

  18. Are you sure you were in the a350? Quietest plane I’ve ever flown on and the disabled access toilet is huge.

  19. Yes…
    I was at back of
    business cabin so engines closer obviously not optimal but not quiet by my measure, could even feel noticeable vibrations at times.
    Toilets mid Business cabin are minuscule without any doubt, didnt spy any accessible ones but only used forward couple..

  20. @LB
    Yes, almost all CX crew hate the A350. If you take a look at the “CX Secrets” facebook page, it is full of posts complaining about it. I haven’t seen a single crew member that likes it.

  21. @eq Mel, @LB,

    I totally agree have been underwhelmed every time I fly this aircraft with CX. The terrible build quality of the cabin interiors means I have noticed issues on virtually every flight I’ve taken in both business and PE. They claimed this had been addressed last year after the first few deliveries but I continue to see pieces peeling/falling off all the time, and it’s not unusual to see a couple of J class seats out of service.

    The seats in every class are substantially tighter than the 77W. I just did a PE leg last week LGW/HKG. Cathay have gone 8 across in PE which makes the seat width roughly the same as normal economy on their 77W aircraft. For comparison BA uses 7-across on their 789 aircraft (and the interior of a 789 is only 4-5 inches narrower than a 359). This is a worst-in-class product for a premium carrier.

    It’s interesting to hear that the crews hate working this aircraft – it does show on board as the service on my recent flights has been slow and attendants clearly frustrated.

    I will now go out of my way to avoid flying this aircraft on CX, and deliberately select routes I know will be 77W/77G operated. WiFi is literally the only improvement they have made to the onboard experience on the 359.

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